Category

Franchise Coaching

Top 5 Complaints Store Managers Have about their Leaders and How to Avoid Them

By | Field Audits, Franchise Coaching

top 5 complaints franchise store managers haveComplaints… in franchising we hear a lot of them.

Some of us tune them out to survive.

But, in complaints, we can find a nugget of wisdom.

Bill Gates said: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

As franchisors, we have many customers – including franchisees and managers. In a franchising community so broad, it is shocking that many store managers and franchisees can have the same complaint. According to multi-unit management expert, Jim Sullivan, in his book Multi Unit Leadership, the following complaints are consistent.

The top 5 complaints that store managers had about their Multi-Unit Leaders:

  1. Not enough face-time.
  2. Store visits where MULs worked positions rather than offering specific direction, insight, coaching and feedback.
  3. Pre-occupation and distraction on the MUL’s part during store visits via constant phone, text and e-mail interruptions.
  4. Too much “telling what to do” not enough “why that problem occurred.”
  5. Changing priorities or failing to clarify objectives.

Does this sound familiar? Whether you are a business coach or a multi-unit leader, it likely rings true. Sullivan continues with this insight:

Too much of what passes for multi-unit-leadership training and development today was developed decades ago when the industry, customer, crew, technology were radically different. The leap from “telling what to do” to “telling why and how to do” is a skill that takes patient coaching guided practice and innate skill.

So – here are some tips at managing from a place of “why” instead of managing from a two-dimensional checklist perspective.

Purpose

In Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why, he contends that leaders who help teams understand the “why” behind what they are doing are more successful than those who do not. Sinek explores the leadership of legends such as Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King.

Bringing this concept down to the earth, helping franchisees and store managers see how their “piece of the puzzle” fits in with the rest if it can go a long way. People want to understand the purpose first – and if they fully understand that, the actions follow more naturally from a place of motivation.

Find the Gaps

There are many coaching models that have a step around “finding gaps” such as the CIGAR Model.

  • C – Current Reality
  • I – Ideal
  • G – Gap
  • A – Actions
  • R – Review and Reinforce

Getting the franchisee or store manager to discover the gap between the current reality and the ideal can be incredibly helpful in terms of making the conversation about their goals, and not yours. Over time, you will discover a lot of similarities in goals, and a natural alignment.

Talk Tentatively

The book Crucial Conversations talks about the need to “Talk Tentatively” in the “STATE” Model.

  • S – Share Your Facts
  • T – Tell Your Story
  • A – Ask for Other’s Path
  • T – Talk Tentatively
  • E – Encourage Testing

When you are in a difficult conversation, it is a good idea to ask questions, and “test” certain concepts rather than making authoritative statements. Although you may still need to bring messages from head office, this being done in a gentler, tentative way can be extremely helpful.

Technology

When it comes to distraction, technology can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Technology, specifically built for franchise business consultants or multi-unit manager in mind can help you focus less on the process of auditing and more on the audit itself.

  • Automatically create “action plans” for stores if you see an opportunity for improvement. For example, if the store is choosing to do a seasonal event, you can give them a step-by-step process.
  • If you see patterns in violations, you can create a training module – one initiative that “lifts all boats”.
  • Get the franchisee to send you pictures before-hand of things like wrapped vehicles so you can focus on more face-time.

All of these features, and many more, are included in FranchiseBlast’s Field Audit app.



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How Driverseat Advances Franchisee Profitability and Fosters Trust

By | Battle Tested Strategies, Franchise Coaching

The Driverseat franchise is cruising to lead emerging brands offering chauffeur, assisted transport and designated driver services. Founded by brothers Brian and Luke Bazely, in Waterloo, Ontario the franchise currently has 24 units in Canada, with several more poised to open in the next 12 months.

Driverseat, which has been in business for six years, and has been franchising for only five, charges a flat-rate for royalties. This system creates an environment of trust and openness with the franchisees. Learn about how CEO, Brian Bazely, uses this approach combined with authentic coaching to set franchisees up for success.    

What is your role?

Brian: “I’m the Co-Founder and CEO of Driverseat and my brother, Luke is in the role of Co-Founder and President. I focus on Franchise Development, and growing the businesses of the Driverseat franchise owners. Luke focuses on our corporate location, as well as developing the technology.”

Brian Bazely from DriverseatWhat did you do before-hand?

Brian: “I spent a significant portion of my career in executive management roles with retail companies such as Toys R Us and The Beer Store, a province-wide beer retailer in Ontario. About ten years ago, I became a franchisee of Anytime Fitness. Through that process, I fell in love with the whole franchising concept.”

What do you like about working at Driverseat and how has the company developed over time?  

Brian: “Every day feels like we’re either as passionate or more passionate about the business. The excitement surrounding Driverseat is quite something. My focus is far more centered on the franchise owners; my experience tells me that this strategy is the best way to create a great experience for our customers. I know that when I truly care for my franchise owners that they’re going to have their coachmen, which is our term for drivers, provide amazing service for the customers.

Our franchise system and the supporting technology provides a great deal of flexibility.  I find it very rewarding when we have a new franchisee who joins our organization and as is able to travel more, experience life more, or as an example, is able to coach their daughter’s soccer team because of the freedom that the business provides for them. That’s the part that gets me super-excited every day. My passion is for them and for what they can experience in being part of the Driverseat brand.”

Driverseat Annual ConferenceWhat is different about how you collect royalties compared to other franchise systems?

Brian: “When we designed the business, we decided to charge a flat-rate royalty versus a percentage. We elevate that flat rate each year for new franchisees coming into the system but “freeze” it for existing units. As the business gets larger and more sophisticated, we feel justified and qualified in being able to charge just a little bit more. Currently, it’s a $419 flat rate per month.

It’s a different system and there is a lot of debate with our accountants and other franchisors regarding this topic. They ask: “Why would you continue to use a system like this?” The answer comes down to why we wanted to launch a franchise in the first place. We are passionate about our franchise partners and we want to spend our time helping them develop themselves and their businesses. We don’t want to spend a lot of time on things with negative energy, like auditing their books.”

What did you want to avoid when you selected this system?

Brian: “There’s a natural friction point that exists in franchising that industry veterans are very familiar with. When a percentage royalty is charged, a franchisee can spend some of their day finding ways to hide money or sales results so they can pay less overall. This is not a moral failing on the franchisees’ part, it is simply human nature. The franchisor is then forced, as a result, to spend their energy on trying to audit or find that money.

We looked at that and said, “That’s a lot of negative energy on something that actually doesn’t really gel with our governance.” When you’re a flat-rate system, there’s never a doubt in the franchisees’ mind. They do not suspect an “ulterior motive” on behalf of the franchisor when we are trying to help them grow their sales.

If we spend a little bit more time on a business quote that they need to put together for a large sale, for example, there’s never the thought that we might be doing it because we’re trying to increase our own royalties – they know that we are in it for them. We spend our day doing what energizes our corporate office team – creating success for our franchise partners.

driverseat olympicsWould you be able to provide me with some concrete examples of this strategy in action?

Brian: A pretty significant portion of our business is B2B where we provide chauffeur and shuttle services for employees – moving them between production plants or warehousing plants for example. Landing these accounts represents more work in terms of sales, but the revenue opportunities are also far greater.

About a year ago, one of our franchise owners had one of these B2B opportunities and we were passionate about helping him land it. We pushed him to do a better job with mapping, and explaining the services and technology. We helped him put a significant effort into the presentation package. As a result of the group effort, he landed the sale. They still provide service today to that same customer and it sparked other sales from there.

When working with franchisees, we talk to them about their personal goals as well as their professional goals. A personal goal of one of our franchisees was to do a better job at handling herself in meetings and to be more comfortable in public speaking.

We created a plan to help her do two things:

  • Present to a B2B prospect with her husband and business partner.
  • Have her build enough confidence to showcase her expertise in front of our franchise group at an annual conference.

I was able to really push her on this and hold her accountable to the goals that she set. It resulted in her doing more business meetings, and it resulted in them building an additional revenue line. Both their profit and revenue increased – on top of that, she was able to develop as an individual.

How does this system foster a sense of trust between you and the franchisees?

Brian: “There are only two things that we really focus on:

  1. Top-line revenue and profitability for the franchise owner
  2. Trust between home-office and the franchisees.

When we have profitable sites and they trust us, that becomes the magical mix. Everything that we do is focused around those two very important factors.”

How does this strategy affect unit sales?

Brian: “We’re attracting higher-quality individuals because they are seeing terrific things happening within Driverseat franchise locations.”

What would you say the biggest challenge of operating this way is?

Brian: “It comes down to the lifecycle of a franchise system. Percentage royalties feed a corporate office. That allows you to purchase additional talent, resources, and better technology. When you charge a flat rate, in the early days, there are times you’d like to have higher revenue at the franchisor level to drive higher performance.

It has forced us to be extraordinarily smart in how we spend money and how we develop programs. The first couple years we ran the franchise system with just Luke and me.  We literally managed tech development, marketing, franchise support, and franchise development with just the two of us.

But not once in any day that we’ve been in business for five years of franchising, have we said, “I wonder if this stuff’s being reported correctly. I wonder if we need to create an audit and find out if this information is accurate”. There is no incentive for a franchise owner to misrepresent their dollars.”

What advice would you give someone who wants to try a structure like this?

Brian: “You have to be focused on the long game to do this. If you’re focused on the short game and you believe that you’re going to have a small number of franchise locations that you need to rely on, then it might not work.

We look at this from a long-game perspective and say, “It really doesn’t matter what happens in the first handful of years. This is really about, how do you get to between 2,000 and 3,000 locations?” And we believe this is the single best source for doing it. If you are going to commit, don’t look back. It’s perfectly acceptable to increase the dollar royalties each year for new locations coming in. But, don’t look back and don’t get fixated on what “could have been”.


With everyone we interview, we ask a series of fun questions! Here is Brian’s Q&A!

What new belief, behavior, or habits adopted within the last five years have most positively impacted your life?

I’ve embraced the belief that entrepreneurs today should really be part of the new rich as described by author, Tim Ferriss. We should look to create financial wealth but not just chasing the dollar every single day. Instead, we should create enough wealth that supports a lifestyle that we want to live. The new rich, for me, is about the ability to earn revenue, which then supports time with my daughters and my wife, and time travelling.

For franchise owners, I try and bring this to the surface with them. It’s about going out and having a strong business that’s very healthy financially, but not for the purpose of upgrading the Lexus car from this model to that model, (you can certainly go and do that as well).  Instead, it is for the purpose of being able to enjoy life, enjoy your family, and enjoy time which is one of our most valuable assets.

What purchase of less than $100 has improved your life?

I really love being able to pleasantly surprise somebody that works with us with small things such as a lovely meal with loved ones. For me to purchase a $50 gift card to a brilliant local Italian place that’s right around the corner from our office is a fantastic gift for someone who has gone above and beyond. For $50, you can have an amazing lunch there.

What would you put on a billboard?

Brian:  “Spend your life purchasing experiences, not products –  experiences with friends, experiences over dinner, experiences in social settings and experiences in travel.”

What books have you most gifted?

  • The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss is a terrific book for prioritizing your time.
  • The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton is great to help give people financial independence.
  • Love Work by Chuck Runyon who is the founder of Self Esteem Brands. He’s a really outstanding leader. And the “Love Work” book really talks about passion and the culture he built within Anytime Fitness.
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins which is a factual study of how certain companies overperformed.

Ready to learn more about Driverseat? Read more here on their Franchise Opportunities page!

Download our Cheat Sheet: 24 Ways to Motivate Team Members and Franchisees with Experiences!

Experiences as Reward

How a Founder Can be a Great “First Coach” to Early Franchisees

By | Battle Tested Strategies, Franchise Coaching

Angela Cote Franchise Coach LogoIn the early days of franchising, the owner often becomes the first coach. How do you drive results with early franchisees when you are an emerging franchisor?

There is a lot to learn from Angela Coté, who grew up with M&M Food Market, an iconic Canadian frozen food retail chain that grew to almost 500 stores across the country. We sat down with former franchisor, current multi-unit franchisee and Franchise Growth Catalyst, Angela Coté, to hear her thoughts.

Tell us about how you got into franchising?

Angela: My father founded M&M and having grown up with it, I have done everything from dressing up as our mascot, “Kelly Kabob” in the mid-80’s for grand openings, to running around Western Canada helping develop the chain in the late ‘90’s. This included opening stores, training franchisees, and getting them up and running.  Eventually this informal role changed into a field consultant one and I worked with franchisees on engagement and profitability.

Angela Cote Meeting

What stands out for you most about the early days of M&M?

Angela: I was a 20-year-old female field consultant and the franchisee was often a 60-year-old male who had just spent his life savings to be a part of the brand. I am certain that some of them were asking themselves “She is the boss’s daughter –  what does she know about taking a risk? What does she know about investing all this money in a business?  How could she possibly help me?” But I worked hard to help them understand the importance of following the operational system, which drove their results and eventually earned their respect.

In that role, I had to learn a lot by trial and error.  As their support person, I started to understand what they were going through, as they experienced a lot of ups and downs emotionally. They were tired and had invested a significant amount of money, making it a really big deal for them. I came out on the other end with some hands-on direct experience – in franchisee relations!

In 2000, I became a multi-unit franchisee which, reflecting back, helps me really understand the franchisees and their concerns – now it is my life-savings at stake!  As a result, I’ve got both sides of the ‘franchise coin’. I understand what it’s like to be an early-stage and established franchisor, and to actually live life as a franchisee as well.

Today, I help businesses with franchise strategy and I coach their franchise business coaches; profitability is the number driver of growth in a franchise, and it is something I am extremely passionate about.  I am super-excited to have had the ability to create the angela COTE Inc. brand, which enables me to tap into what drives me and what I’m truly passionate about.

Spray Squad TeamWhen a franchise first starts, the founders are often the first coaches. Based on your experience, what tips would you give to a founder or coach with these early franchisees?

Angela: Showing early franchisees that you appreciate them is critical. I think that people take them for granted. In the early days, acknowledging that, “Hey, thanks for believing in this when no one else does.  Thanks for understanding that we’re not a well-oiled machine yet”. Here are four tips for franchisors regarding their early adopter franchisees:

  1. Get clear on expectations: When an emerging franchisor first starts, there is frequently a lack of clear expectations on both parties. When I say expectations, I mean, for example, what support the franchisees are going to get because it hasn’t even been built yet. Franchisees are expecting support because they bought into a system and they have pre-conceived thoughts based on popular perceptions of more established franchisors. Setting clear expectations up-front is a great first step.
  2. Recognize early adopters: Recognize that these first franchisees are early adopters according to the Rogers diffusion of innovation bell curve, and ensure that they know the systems are not set up yet. Clarifying that is huge in the early days. Often the early adopters are clients.  For example, maybe it’s a fitness studio and they love being a member, love the culture and think “I want one of these for myself.”

rogers diffusion curveIn response, a great way to put it is: “We would love to have you but know that we are still working towards building out our systems and processes for optimal efficiencies and profitability.  and you’re going to be part of creating that with us. Don’t expect it to be built. On the flip-side, you get to help us build it by telling us what you need and getting a lot of say in what is created.”

The early franchisees get the opportunity to scratch their “entrepreneurial itch” more, but still have to understand and balance the fact that it’s still a system.

  1. Set up systems through trial and error: Regarding setting up the systems, I think people feel as though to coach their franchisees, they need to have very formal systems established. I think it works best to do it as trial and error. I’m a big believer in the “lean start-up”, or the “minimum viable product”.

At the beginning of being an emerging franchisor, you don’t know what the franchisees want so don’t go out and create this massive “support system” that you use to coach your franchisees without asking them. Instead, work with them, try it. If it didn’t work, don’t “freak out”. That’s fine. We’re going to adjust this. We’re going to tweak that.

You really want to wow them, so that they talk highly about you, so you can grow the brand.

  1. Under-promise and over-deliver. It may sound cliché, but it needs to be said – under-promise and over-deliver to your first franchisees when you are an emerging franchisor. You really want to wow them, so that they talk highly about you, so you can grow the brand. So that when other people come and say, “What’s it like here?” they reply with, “it’s awesome!”

What are common pitfalls for coaches and founders?

Angela: The other pitfalls that a first early coach and founder is losing touch with your corporate location. This isn’t good for profitability and business growth. Additionally, from a perspective of a franchise coach, franchisees will think that you can’t relate anymore because you’re not working in the business.

The way to avoid that pitfall is to have a general manager at your corporate location who really understands how to grow the business. Be in touch with that person, communicate regularly with what’s going on in that corporate location so that when you’re talking to franchisees, you can say things like, “Yeah, we’re going through that same problem at our corporate location.”


With everyone we interview, we ask a series of fun questions! Here is Angela’s Q&A!

What new beliefs, behaviors, or habits adopted in the last five years have most positively impacted your life?

Angela: Getting a coach!  I hired a career coach three years ago to help me tap into my passion and figure out how to make that into a career. That was the best decision I made in my entire life. Later, I got an amazing performance coach. No matter what your income level is, it is super valuable to have someone with experience help you stay on track.

Purchase of less than $100 that’s improved your life.

Angela: My monthly membership to my local floating franchise, The Float House. You float in a tank with high level of salt. Sensory deprivation is a dark, warm and relaxing experience and is great for those stressful days.

What would you want to put on a billboard?

Angela: “Contrary to popular belief, franchising is NOT turnkey. Franchising a business requires someone with expertise who understand the complexity of the model. Buying into a franchise as a franchisee requires hard work, leadership skills and true grit.”

What books have you most gifted to other people?

Angela: It is a bit embarrassing, but it is a business book: Traction by Gino Wickman. This helps clients with vision, short-term and long-term plans.

More Info:

  • To learn more about Angela, you can go to her website at angela COTE Inc.
  • To learn more about FranchiseBlast field audit and scorecard software, go to our website.
  • Would you like a PDF of this article? Download PDF here.

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Franchise Coaching for 5 Generations

By | Franchise Coaching, Franchise Engagement

Franchise Coaching Among 5 Generations in the WorkplaceI’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something different. When it comes to franchise coaching, different generations tend to have different strengths, communication styles and ways of receiving messages. In this blog, I will go through coaching tips from the youngest, in the iGen generation through the Millennials, Xennials and Gen X, through to the Boomers.

iGen

Years: 1995-2012
Ages: 6-23

The iGen generation is the youngest of franchise owners, and you will typically find them in family businesses, or in franchise systems that cater to young people (summer painting for example). This generation, who saw the millennials graduate to few jobs are more cautious and crave stability. They see work as constantly evolving. They are also highly collaborative, and see technology as a tool. As a result, these folks like to have a more direct relationship with their coach. I have worked with iGen franchisees where we would text each other and I became a kind of “on call” coach rather than scheduling lengthy meetings. Being available in short bursts at all hours helps this generation, who prefer to think for themselves over an authority figures, get what they need to succeed.

Millennials

Years: 1980-1994
Ages: 24-38

Known as the “Me” generation, the millennials were raised to believe they were “special”, but were welcomed into a world which had few “good” jobs along with high housing and educational costs. Millennials have an aspiration for freedom and flexibility and see work as a means to an end. To motivate Millennials, it is best to connect with the meaning behind what you are saying. More than the other generations, the Millennials are seeking purpose, and connecting that to the coaching goals is key. “Shining the spotlight” and celebrating the successes of Millennials in terms of awards and announcements can go a long way based on my experience. Having a leaderboard can also motivate Millennials.

Xennials

Years: 1977-1985
Ages: 32-40

The Xennials are a “micro-generation” who are a bridge between the cynicism of Generation X and the optimism of the Millennials. The category was invented because people born in this group relate neither to the Millennials nor Generation X and wanted to have a clearer identity. Xennials are a pleasure to work with since they are entrepreneurial, highly resourceful and care about purpose. When you work with them, you want to communicate the “why” behind everything. If you are patient and understanding with that, you will see extraordinary results.

Generation X

Years:1965-1979
Ages: 39-53

The most resourceful generation and also the most cynical, Generation X grew up and went to school with limited internet, but quickly adjusted. This generation sees their career as a difficult challenge and crave work-life balance and flexibility. When coaching someone from Generation X, you want to level with them and be “real”. When coaching a Generation X franchisee, one phrase I have used is, “we are both on the same team, because we both want the brand to do well. That’s just the way it is.” Being down-to-earth like this helps Gen Xers feel comfortable and at ease. They tend to be loyal to a profession, not a brand, so that is good to remember.

Boomers

Years: 1946-1964
Ages: 54-72

Being the wealthiest generation that history has ever seen, the boomers bought 2/3 of new cars sold in the US in 2011 and earn more than double the income of their parents. Boomers are loyal, hardworking and enjoy mentoring. They prefer training in-person rather than online, and they prefer more formal, scheduled meetings, which can be lengthy. Sales contests with enticing prizes such as luxury holidays can be motivating for boomers, who are used to corporate environments. When coaching Boomers, it is good to take a professional approach, even quoting experts when needed.



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Franchisee Surveys Done Right

By | Franchise Coaching, Surveys

Franchisee Surveys Done RightThe simplest way to get feedback from franchisees is to simply ask questions. But this is easier said than done. Author Tony Robbins says “Successful people ask better questions. As a result, they get better answers” and asking the right questions to your franchisees is like mining for gold in your franchise system as a whole.

This is the second part of our series on franchisee involvement. Firstly, we discussed why Franchisee Involvement is so important. Now we are going to do a deep dive on surveys.

The most obvious form of getting feedback from franchisees is a survey. At minimum, franchisors do this through the Annual Franchisee Satisfaction survey.  I have written dozens of franchise satisfaction surveys and reviewed results as well as participated in various benchmarking programs. As discussed in the first post, this is a way for franchisor and franchisee to work together seamlessly as per the model shown in the puzzle diagram.

1.       Have a Goal for the Survey

With your franchise satisfaction survey, you want to begin with the end in mind. Here are a few fantastic goals for a franchise survey:

Provide the best service to franchisees at the lowest cost to the franchisor.

Create an extraordinary franchise experience.

Having an inspiring yet achievable goal in place can help you stay focused on where you need to go, and what you need to do next.

2.       Avoid the Negativity Bias

Working in a franchise environment, you tend to hear the complaints bubble up, and you hear less often from the happy people. After all, an emergency room nurse only sees people on the worst day of their life. When you are writing your survey, you therefore do not want to think only of the negative – I have literally seen a question on a survey stating “what are your issues with home office”?

If you do have a question that elicits criticism, you can have a balancing question that has the opposite. One analogue I like personally is of a vehicle, accelerating or decelerating. You could thus ask the question:

“What about home office moves your business forward faster?” followed by…

“What about home office slows your business down?”

This type of metaphor keeps it balanced and fair.

3.       Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

The Franchise Business Review, in 2018 list of their top 200 franchisees, offers advice on questions prospective franchisees should ask during their research process. Some of these questions can be great starting points for questions on your survey.

  • To what extent would you agree with the following statements on a 7-point-scale where 1 is strongly disagree and 7 is strongly agree?
  • I enjoy being part of this organization.
  • I respect my franchisor
  • My franchisor operates with a high level of honesty and integrity.
  • Investment in this business has been consistent with my expectations.
  • Would you “do it again” knowing what you know today? Please answer yes or no. This question can be followed with “why?”

Using some of these questions gives you an opportunity to benchmark your results against other systems and compare results.

4.       It’s Not All About You

Another pitfall with annual franchise satisfaction surveys is the fact that some franchisors think it has to be “all about them”. In fact, the life of a franchisee is much more complex, and their biggest challenge may not be interfacing with home office at all. Instead, their #1 issue could be local environmental factor such as a new set of advertising regulations. Home office could help them with such factors.

One way that I resolve this, is with the “Top 3 Important Factors” question. The question could be stated like this:

  • “What are the top 3 most important factors which are key to your success?”
  • Recruiting
  • Lead generation
  • Customer loyalty
  • Government regulations
  • Home Office Support
  • Home Office Technology

After they rank their most important factors, you can add in a variable question after each: How satisfied are you with (insert each factor).

Getting an idea about what is most important in their everyday life gives you a much more global perception than simply asking about their interactions with home office. It can also help you design the experts, systems and technology to support the franchisees.

5.       Follow the Pareto Principal

If you are in sales, sports or investments this is common sense. Any pro in a discipline that follows performance closely will tell you that 20% of effort gets you 80% of results. However, sometimes even the best franchises will get bogged down with old legacy programs that do not actually produce results or create satisfaction. One matrix that I enjoy using in surveys is the Importance vs. Value matrix.

A great way for you to measure if the franchisees are getting value from the programs that they find important is the “Importance vs. Satisfaction” matrix. Firstly, get everyone in your office to create a list of programs that you provide for the franchisees. Then ask them the following questions:

Importance Satisfaction Matrix Franchise

How would you rate the importance of the operations manual on a 7-point-scale where 1 is very unimportant, and 7 is very important?

Operations Manual

  • How important is this to you?
  • How satisfied are you with it? 

Direct Mail Program

  • How important is this to you?
  • How satisfied are you with it? 

Afterwards, you can have it on a beautiful, all-encompassing slide as shown here. 

I hope that you have been enjoying this series so far! Next, we are going to look into how to execute on franchisee committees flawlessly!

How to Be a High Impact Franchisee Coach

About Stefania

Stefania is the Sr. Marketing Director at FranchiseBlast. She comes from 20 years in the Marketing world, 10 of them in progressively Sr. positions in Marketing – most recently as the Director of Marketing and IT Development at Tutor Doctor. During the course of her career she has worked with companies like Microsoft, 3M, Shred-it and the Intercontinental Hotel. While at Shred-it, Stefania was recognized by Google as operating a best practice in managing a franchise PPC campaign and her website at Tutor Doctor won an “Outstanding Achievement in Internet Advertising” award by the Web Marketing Association in 2016.

Stefania has taken part in several speaking engagements across North America about entrepreneurship, franchising, marketing and technology and has volunteered for numerous organizations helping children, artists and educational institutions; she is a volunteer with Futurepreneur as a mentor, and does a number of community initiatives. She was also the past Communications Chair of the Queen’s Alumni Association of Toronto. She holds an MBA from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Commerce from Carleton University. She lives in Vaughan, Ontario with her husband, Matthew and two children, AJ and Violet.



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Franchisee Involvement – Better Together

By | Franchise Coaching

franchise coaching and franchisee involvementThe most beautiful thing in business is creating something from nothing in my humble opinion. There is something incredible about that man or woman who stands in the middle of an empty room and creates a business. And what underpins the success of most strong franchise systems is the “something from nothing” aspect forged by the founders.

Founders with Visions

In 1965, Fred DeLuca set out to fulfill his dream of becoming a medical doctor. Searching for a way to help pay for his education, a family friend suggested he open a submarine sandwich shop.   With a loan of $1,000, the friend—Dr. Peter Buck the business was born – which later became Subway. Where most just see a part-time job, a way-station en-route to a dream, he saw an opportunity that led to the world’s largest submarine sandwich chain with more than 44,000 locations around the world. The company started with just 16 corporate locations throughout Connecticut. When they turned to franchising, they began a period of remarkable growth that made history.

When I worked at successful document destruction franchise, Shred-it it actually began as an MBA project by founder Greg Brophy.  It started growth in Canada, then expanded to Los Angeles then across the US and around the world through franchised and corporate locations. At his 40th birthday party, I remember saying to Greg, “how amazing that this all started with you driving the truck yourself, and now you have over 1,000 trucks around the world!” He laughed and said “now I am going to cry” with a smile. Shred-it, later sold to Stericycle and is still a leader in the industry.

Franchisees with Visions

In 1963, long-time Michigan A&W franchise owner Dale Mulder saw his repeat customers were always requesting slabs of bacon on top of their cheeseburgers and put it on his restaurant’s menu. This was the beginning of the bacon cheeseburgers a favorite among burger lovers worldwide!

Ronald McDonald, a symbol for children which is recognized second only to Santa Clause was an advertising initiative for a group of Washington DC McDonalds franchisees at the time.

Finding the Balance for Franchise Coaching

As a home office franchise coach, a big part of the job is a balancing act between the franchisor and the frachisees. Ultimately, the franchisor and the franchisee can act in a symbiotic relationship. One feeds into the other. At its best, this is better than a corporate situation, because innovations grow and thrive. At its worst, the process can be cumbersome and full of conflict.

As shown here, in an “ideal world”, franchisors bring the following to the table:

  • Specialists: whether it be in IT, marketing, training, food and more
  • Network effect: the uniqueness of a franchisor is that you get a “bird’s eye view” on what is working and what is not in various parts of the system – especially if they are taking advantage of the franchising’s most up-to-date performance tools. This network effect means that many is much stronger than one.

Franchisees, for their part, bring the following:

  • Local Conditions: They are the closest to their community and their cash register.
  • New Trends:  They may see trends emerging that may benefit the rest of the network. If you want to learn about what is new and exciting, talk to your franchisees in California!

Based on my experience in the 10 years in franchising, I understand the temptation to push away feedback in order to move a project forward. However, for the best projects, it is a balancing act, and if done correctly, it is one done with grace, originality and “awesomeness”.

In the next few posts, we are going top put these ideas into action.

First, we will look at franchisee surveys. Second, we will look at franchise committees run the right way. Join us on this exploration!

Franchise Coaching Needs Franchisee Self Assessments

About Stefania

Stefania is the Sr. Marketing Director at FranchiseBlast. She comes from 20 years in the Marketing world, 10 of them in progressively Sr. positions in Marketing – most recently as the Director of Marketing and IT Development at Tutor Doctor. During the course of her career she has worked with companies like Microsoft, 3M, Shred-it and the Intercontinental Hotel. While at Shred-it, Stefania was recognized by Google as operating a best practice in managing a franchise PPC campaign and her website at Tutor Doctor won an “Outstanding Achievement in Internet Advertising” award by the Web Marketing Association in 2016.

Stefania has taken part in several speaking engagements across North America about entrepreneurship, franchising, marketing and technology and has volunteered for numerous organizations helping children, artists and educational institutions; she is a volunteer with Futurepreneur as a mentor, and does a number of community initiatives. She was also the past Communications Chair of the Queen’s Alumni Association of Toronto. She holds an MBA from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Commerce from Carleton University. She lives in Vaughan, Ontario with her husband, Matthew and two children, AJ and Violet.



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Celebrate Success As a High-Impact Franchise Coach

By | Franchise Coaching

How to be a high impact franchise coach

For the past few weeks, we have been exploring articles on what it means to coach franchisees. In the first article, we explored building franchisee relationships, and why it is so important. In the second article, we looked to a couple of tactics, including active listening and co-creation. Now we are turning our attention to two more tactics in franchise coaching: broadcasting excellence and practicing discernment.

Celebrate Success

One way to build relationships is to “shine the spotlight” on success in the field. This cements already strong relationships with franchisees and creates internal “icons” for others to follow. It also fosters belief in the system and camaraderie in the field among the regions. Here are some neat ways to broadcast excellence in any system.

  • Videos of early adopters
  • Feature franchisee best practices on webinars
  • Feature successful field visits on internal Facebook group or by a president’s Facebook profile
  • Do Facebook lives showing best practices and share it broadly
  • Annual awards at franchise convention

Celebrating excellence creates a culture of success in your organization, and your franchisees can learn that this is a way to get their ideas get heard.

Practicing Discernment

Donald’s Trump’s rise to Presidency and Brexit will be analyzed for years to come. Today, people are looking to break down structures of old. Even experts such as Doctors and Lawyers are not seen in the same light as before, and there is a certain streak of rebellion across all industries. However, there needs to be some wisdom here in terms of approach. Some pitfalls that can happen if you lack discernment include:

  • Swaying from one idea to the next
  • Listening to the herd
  • Following the competition too closely and becoming “me too”
  • Rushing implementations
  • Coaches getting combative with management

As discussed in the point about co-creation, there is a time to listen, but also a time to not listen. It is important to stay clear-headed about what is right for the company, its customers and team members and what is not. To do this, it is important to remember your company’s core values and mission, and determine whether or not the benefit of the new ideas will outweigh the cost from both a financial and a time perspective.

Conclusion

While relationships in franchising can be complicated at times, the rewards are great in business and in life. I look forward to continuing to chat about coaching in more blog articles to come!

How to Be a High Impact Franchisee Coach

About Stefania

Stefania is the Sr. Marketing Director at FranchiseBlast. She comes from 20 years in the Marketing world, 10 of them in progressively Sr. positions in Marketing – most recently as the Director of Marketing and IT Development at Tutor Doctor. During the course of her career she has worked with companies like Microsoft, 3M, Shred-it and the Intercontinental Hotel. While at Shred-it, Stefania was recognized by Google as operating a best practice in managing a franchise PPC campaign and her website at Tutor Doctor won an “Outstanding Achievement in Internet Advertising” award by the Web Marketing Association in 2016.

Stefania has taken part in several speaking engagements across North America about entrepreneurship, franchising, marketing and technology and has volunteered for numerous organizations helping children, artists and educational institutions; she is a volunteer with Futurepreneur as a mentor, and does a number of community initiatives. She was also the past Communications Chair of the Queen’s Alumni Association of Toronto. She holds an MBA from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Commerce from Carleton University. She lives in Vaughan, Ontario with her husband, Matthew and two children, AJ and Violet.



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How to Build Franchise Coaching Relationships

By | Franchise Coaching

How to Be a High-Impact Franchise Coach

Franchise Coaching - How to Build Relationships

Last week, we took a look at Coaching and Franchisee Relationships, and why it is so important to create real connections with the franchisees whom we serve. This week, we are going to dig a little deeper so we can learn about a few key ways to create beautiful relationships in franchise coaching. Everything I recommend here I have lived myself – so this article contains no ivory tower or theorizing – just hands-on life experience.

Active Listening

Even at the best of times, it is very hard to be a good listener. In fact, studies show that we only remember between 25-50% of what we hear. In franchising, each owner brings their own strengths to the table because owning a franchise is typically a second career (or third, or fourth!)

In some cases, a franchisee may be a natural salesperson, whereas in others, they may be solid on the operations side. No matter what, listening actively is key to building a great relationship. As the quote from Maya Anjelou goes “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

It actually takes a lot of concentration to be deliberate in truly listening to what the other person is saying. Here are some tips:

  1. Give them your undivided attention. Put your phone away and if you are remote and you are taking notes, it is a good courtesy to let them know that that is what the typing sound is. Also – sometimes it is hard to resist imagining rebuttals while someone else is speaking – try to avoid that.
  2. Let them know that you are listening by using body language or words of encouragement.
  3. Provide feedback by reflecting what you have heard. Your goal is to understand what is said as much as possible, so clarifying is a good thing.
  4. Respond appropriately – be candid and open in your response, while asserting your opinions respectfully. Treat the other person the way you think he or she would like to be treated. Often, when you are really listening, the speaker may think that you are agreeing with them, so if you are disagreeing, be sensitive in your delivery.

Active listening, and seeking to understand first is the foundation of a great coaching relationship.

active listening checklist for coachesFranchisee Co-Creation

Co-creating projects with franchisees is the single best way to get buy-in on initiatives. Not only is it possible for you to roll out your projects more successfully, but when skillfully done, it will also help you build stronger and more effective initiatives. Here are three neat examples of co-creation in a franchise environment:

  1. For a franchisee microsite project, I created a special “committee” of franchisees who wanted to be involved. We met on a regular basis to see what sections would be most important and what content they would like as a default. The committee included key members of the Franchise Advisory Board, so if people disagreed with decisions, it was a “franchise built” idea.
  2. For a book written by the franchisor, we created a special voting platform for people to submit ideas, and up-vote and down-vote the ones submitted by their peers for the title. Then, we took the most popular 5 and created a Google Display campaign out of them, letting the CTR on the campaign determine the most successful result. Instead of it being a “top-heavy” home office initiative, it was grass-roots, with the analytics help decide the winner. For the cover art, we used Crowdspring to generate ideas, and got Franchise Advisory Council members to vote on them. Additionally, different franchisees from around the world wrote chapters for the book.
  3. When introducing Google AdWords for the first time, I got franchisees to brainstorm on text creative. We created some ads, ran them, then circled back showing which ones were successful. We were a tightly-knit organization, so we even had franchisees and managers place “friendly bets” such as snacks or drinks on which one will prove most successful in the campaign.

Active Listening and Co-Creation are just two ideas on how to enhance engagement. Next week, we will look at a couple of more interesting ideas to enhance your coaching impact.

How to Be a High Impact Franchisee Coach

About Stefania

Stefania is the Sr. Marketing Director at FranchiseBlast. She comes from 20 years in the Marketing world, 10 of them in progressively Sr. positions in Marketing – most recently as the Director of Marketing and IT Development at Tutor Doctor. During the course of her career she has worked with companies like Microsoft, 3M, Shred-it and the Intercontinental Hotel. While at Shred-it, Stefania was recognized by Google as operating a best practice in managing a franchise PPC campaign and her website at Tutor Doctor won an “Outstanding Achievement in Internet Advertising” award by the Web Marketing Association in 2016.

Stefania has taken part in several speaking engagements across North America about entrepreneurship, franchising, marketing and technology and has volunteered for numerous organizations helping children, artists and educational institutions; she is a volunteer with Futurepreneur as a mentor, and does a number of community initiatives. She was also the past Communications Chair of the Queen’s Alumni Association of Toronto. She holds an MBA from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Commerce from Carleton University. She lives in Vaughan, Ontario with her husband, Matthew and two children, AJ and Violet.



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Coaching and Franchisee Relationships

By | Franchise Coaching

How to Be a High-Impact Franchise Coach

franchise coach

Some things in life will surprise you. While skills, dedication and a lot of “sweat equity” can get you promoted, the further you move up the hierarchy in business, the more Emotional Intelligence (EI) matters. This is true in all of business contexts, and is well documented in management literature, but in franchising, it is not possible to succeed without outstanding Emotional Intelligence skills.

Franchising is all about relationships, and success depends on the strength of them. With 10 years in the industry and 20 years in marketing as a whole, starting off in an entry-level Marketing role and growing into a Director I have taught digital marketing to hundreds of people from all walks of life. One of the most beautiful moments was when an older couple approached me in my office one day saying “thanks to the digital programs you taught us, we were able to afford the retirement that we wished for.” This was after their healthy and growing business was sold at a competitive price.

But, one thing that was a bit different in terms of approach, that in a Myers-Briggs test, I was a “T”, in terms of a “Thinker” instead of a “Feeler”, whereas most people in this industry are decidedly “Fs”. But, coming from a “Thinking” perspective and moving more towards the center has proven to be somewhat of a secret weapon and helps me distill it all into a formula. For me, the key is a combination of:

  • Active listening
  • Co-creation
  • Broadcasting excellence

Here I have weaved together a combination of research and in-the-field experience. For this first part of the series, we will take a look at the research that underpins everything else in terms of being a franchise coach.

Connectivity – the Research

Researchers across the business literature are recognizing the power of connectivity in any business relationship. In fact as stated in a recent article:

Researchers surveyed employees from 84 U.S. companies about the character of their CEOs, using compassion and forgiveness as key indicators. Comparing the company’s financial performance against the employee’s judgement of the CEOs character, the researchers found that CEOs with a strong character outperformed their poorly ranked peers by nearly 500%.

CEOs and ConnectivityEven though almost everyone recognizes that connection and engagement are important, boards and management in the corporate sector are not responding, leaving it a cold place.  In fact, Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year. Seasoned veterans of the franchising industry know that corporate disengagement is actually a driver for franchise business ownership. So there is a high cost to be paid by franchisors who ignore franchisee disengagement as well in terms of lost royalties and even exits.

A 2008 article published by Hay Group titled Emotional Intelligence: Leadership prescription for tough times, detailed four common behaviors of good EQ leaders. They found that, “…highly emotionally intelligent leaders tend to:

  • listen more than they talk
  • emphasize the how’s and why’s instead of simply telling people what to do
  • engage team members and recognize their contributions rather than continually criticizing their mistakes
  • understand what energizes and engages people on their teams and create environments that foster that energy.”

Consider a case study of Domino’s Pizza in India. According to Forbes, they went from teetering on the edge of bankruptcy to the second largest Domino’s market outside of the United states with a 70% marketshare in India and more than 55 million deliveries annually. A part of that success was taking a core focus on happiness of the workforce, led by CEO Ajay Kaul.

To measure happiness, Ajay instituted a monthly pulse survey called the “happiness score.” Basically, customers and employees’ happiness is measured monthly. Leaders consistently know if either group is happy, unhappy, or indifferent. They know what to do more of, less of, and what needs tweaking. This is the metric Ajay cares most about.

So – the research shows that the relationship side of business is hugely important. Now is the hard part, how do we put these ideas into practice?

In the next part of this series, we will discuss one of the most important skills that a high-impact coach can have:  listening skills. If you have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to comment!

How to Be a High Impact Franchisee Coach

About Stefania

Stefania is the Sr. Marketing Director at FranchiseBlast. She comes from 20 years in the Marketing world, 10 of them in progressively Sr. positions in Marketing – most recently as the Director of Marketing and IT Development at Tutor Doctor. During the course of her career she has worked with companies like Microsoft, 3M, Shred-it and the Intercontinental Hotel. While at Shred-it, Stefania was recognized by Google as operating a best practice in managing a franchise PPC campaign and her website at Tutor Doctor won an “Outstanding Achievement in Internet Advertising” award by the Web Marketing Association in 2016.

Stefania has taken part in several speaking engagements across North America about entrepreneurship, franchising, marketing and technology and has volunteered for numerous organizations helping children, artists and educational institutions; she is a volunteer with Futurepreneur as a mentor, and does a number of community initiatives. She was also the past Communications Chair of the Queen’s Alumni Association of Toronto. She holds an MBA from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Commerce from Carleton University. She lives in Vaughan, Ontario with her husband, Matthew and two children, AJ and Violet.



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Restaurant Field Coaching Trends [Infographic]

By | Field Audits, Franchise Coaching, Infographic

How Does Your QSR, Fast Casual, or Full-service Restaurant Measure Up? Find out about field coaching trends including audit pass rates, coach to franchisee ratios and visit durations.

This data was collected by FranchiseBlast.


Restaurant Field Coaching Trends Infographic - FranchiseBlast



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